Notations From the Grid (Weekly Edition): #RandomThoughts
Please enjoy the following re: Vision Zero and Traffic Safety courtesy CityLab:
Hindsight 2020: Over the past several years, dozens of U.S. cities have committed to a new principle in road safety policy, Vision Zero, which sets the goal of completely eliminating deaths and serious injuries. The basic logic of the policy, which takes inspiration from a road safety platform in Sweden: All traffic collisions that result in death or injury—whether for pedestrians, cyclists, motorists, or any other road user—are preventable through smarter engineering, education, and enforcement.
Unfortunately, also over the past several years, pedestrian and cyclist deaths have been increasing nationally. Even cities that have adopted Vision Zero have struggled to budge the transportation status quo. A CityLab analysis of five early Vision Zero cities—Chicago, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York City—found that, while some cities have bent their fatality curves more than others, none of the five are currently on pace to reach zero traffic fatalities for decades, let alone by their ten-year targets.
But does that mean that Vision Zero could be a failure? Just setting a concrete target may be a bigger catalyst for change. “Vision Zero is not a slogan, tagline, or even a program,” Leah Shahum, the executive director of the Vision Zero Network, tells CityLab’s Laura Bliss. “It has to be a transformative shift in how you’re doing business on the issue of mobility.”
Read the full analysis with maps and charts galore from my colleagues Laura Bliss, David Montgomery, and Matthew Gerring: Vision Zero: Are Cities Reducing Traffic Deaths?
And for more context, revisit my recent piece digging in on Washington, D.C.’s Vision Zero politics.